The Plenary at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre (pictured above) saw a return to live music for the first time since March 2020, with renowned international singer and songwriter Ben Folds performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey, on Jan. 31 and Feb 1.
MCEC is now able to host events at up to 75 per cent capacity per event space, to a maximum of 5,000 attendees, following the implementation of stringent health and safety measures. Ben Folds was the first live performer to return to the venue since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced.
Darren Waite (pictured left), director of sales at MCEC, says the venue was excited to have Ben Folds and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as the debut for the return of live music at the venue. “We were thrilled to welcome Ben Folds and the MSO as the first musicians to perform in MCEC’s Plenary since we closed our doors early in 2020,” says Waite.
“We welcomed on average 1,600 attendees each night of the concert and received extremely positive feedback to our Venue Safe plan. It was fantastic to see such respect from attendees as they followed strict protocols regarding queuing, temperature checks and the use of QR codes.
“At MCEC we are incredibly proud to be acknowledged as a standout venue for COVID safety, which means we can host world class performers like Ben, safely. We look forward to this being the start of return of business events, exhibitions and conferences at MCEC,” Waite continued.
Folds (pictured right) is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our time; a renowned pop artist as well as a critically-acclaimed classical music composer, and best-selling author. Known for his musical versatility across the pop and classical genres, Folds has traveled the globe performing with some of the world’s best orchestras for more than a decade.
“I grew up playing in orchestras, so being on stage with one feels like home to me,” Folds says.
MCEC’s comprehensive VenueSafe Plan can be viewed here.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is the home of unconventional. At MCEC they do things a little differently. They bring fresh ideas and imagination to every event. They happily turn concepts on their head to make each experience momentous. They welcome events of all shapes and sizes, from meetings and conferences to exhibitions, concerts and galas, whether in-person, virtual or hybrid. And their city is their inspiration. Melbourne is on show at MCEC—in the architecture and design, food and hospitality, location and views. Discover the difference at MCEC. For more info, visit www.mcec.com.au